Keeping a secret is hard.  And if it is a secret that you can’t share with anyone else, it is pure agony.  Think of your own secrets bottled up inside.  Then enjoy Part 2, the final part of this short story.      

Salisbury, Maryland


ALFRED DORR GOT INSIDE the Ford F-150 and felt sick to his stomach.  Digging a grave could do that to a person.  He waited a minute before he backed the F-150 out of the woods.  Even with brake lights on, Wicomico Demonstration State Forest was pitch black. 

He slowed the F-150 down to a crawl.  He did not want to back into a tree.  It would be hard to explain paint from his pickup truck on a tree in the State Forest. 

It seemed to take him an hour to back out of the forest and onto the road.  He thought at any moment he would see blue flashing lights.  Then a police car would block him in.

He kept his headlights off and drove a quarter of a mile.  Forty miles per hour was the fastest he could go in the dark.  At a safe distance from the woods, he turned on the headlights and pressed on the gas.  The speedometer shot past seventy. 

He flew by a road sign that read Route 272 South. 

He glanced at the speedometer.  It was above ninety.  His heart pounded when he saw how fast he was going.  Further proof of it was that his exit was less than two miles ahead.  Salisbury exit 139 had come up too fast.  It should have taken him twenty minutes to get there.  Not fifteen.  He needed to be more careful. 

He took exit 139 without slowing.  He only applied the brakes when he came over a hill. He could not see if there was a police cruiser parked at the end of the road.  Once he saw it, it would be too late.  That was why the police parked there.  It was a well-known speed trap. 

Alfred drove the half-mile to his house, looking around.  He glanced at the speedometer every few seconds—until he parked in his driveway next to his wife’s Chevy Tahoe.

Keep a straight face, he told himself.  With that, he got out and went to his front door.  He had his keys ready to open the door.

The door flung open.  He jumped back.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Charlene Dorr asked, standing in the doorway.  She had a smooth round face with long dark hair and a voluptuous figure.  “Why are you so late?  Where have you been?  Have you been drinking?”

“No…and…why are you interrogating me right off the bat?” he asked.  “It’s called work, Charlene.  Not an office job.  Not a nine to five.  Bust-ass work.  Construction.  Heard of it?  Had to go back to work because of the errand I ran for you.  I should’ve never left work in the first place.”

“Quit your complaining,” she said.  “What a whiner.  I ask you for one thing.  And I was going to give you something tonight for it.  But now I’ve changed my mind.”

“That sounds familiar,” he said.

“Smartass, you did pick mom up from the airport and drop her off at her hotel?” she asked.

“Yes, Charlene,” he said.  “She’s at her damn hotel.”

“Did you walk her to the door?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said, irritated.

“You have such a bad attitude,” she said.  “No wonder you and mom don’t get along.  You both are so damn stubborn and negatively opinionated.”  She walked off.

He stared at Charlene’s back until she disappeared around the corner.  He hoped she did not grow old and bitter like her mother.  Her mother was a living demon.  He could never hate someone as much as he hated her.  And then Charlene had the audacity to tell him to ride in a vehicle with her for twenty minutes.  All she did was complain when he picked her up. 

Watch out for that car?  You drive like crap.  You’re awful.  Why did Charlene marry you?

The entire drive was a living hell, Alfred thought.  He could not wait to drop her off.  She was too much for any human to take.  Three minutes with her was too long.  He would never pick her up again.  Let her be someone else’s problem.    

“Thank you for picking mom up,” Charlene said from around the corner.  “I’ll get you some dinner when I come out.  And if you’re good boy, maybe, just maybe, you’ll get your dessert.” 

Charlene was on her way to the bathroom.  She took her cell off the bed and pushed an icon.  Her Mother’s phone rang on the other end.  Its screen lit up the woods as it lay beside the barrel’s fresh grave that Alfred buried in Wicomico Demonstration State Forest.                 

You never know what some people will do.  So, don’t make them mad.

If you enjoyed Part 2 of this story, please pass it on to a friend and follow me on my blog.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

Stephen Wallace

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